On Thursday 22nd May the New Zealand Racing Drivers Club announced details of the Dunlop Tyres 2.0 Litre Touring Car Series.
The 1 0 rounds of the series will be held over five race meetings - two at Taupo's Centennial Park circuit and three at Pukekohe Park Raceway near Auckland.
Chairman of the New Zealand Racing Drivers Club, Ed Lamont, says that the series was possible because of the 150 minutes of free to air television coverage it will receive. "All sport is about television these days. Our members have to be able to give their sponsors quality TV exposure. The five, half-hour productions covering the Dunlop series should be just what they need to find their sponsorship for the summer season."
Interest from entrants has been high with twice the number of 2.0 Litre entries seen in recent years expected at the first round on 31 May.
Most of the 2.0 litre Toyotas, Fords, Suzukis and Nissans which have not been raced for a while have found their way into new hands, and a number of younger drivers are moving up from the 1600cc class.
Particular interest surrounds the BMW driver line-up which is expected to be announced by team boss Lyall Williamson in the next few days.
Lamont has entered the series himself and after extensive testing, feels confident that he will be a match for the all-conquering BMWs. Last week, he recorded the fastest ever Toyota time at Pukekohe - faster even than fellow Aucklander Ross Heffernan managed during the national championship round there in January.
Hamilton's Geoff Short is number one driver in his own two-car Ford team and has reportedly matched Lamont's time in a separate test session.
Nissan's David Simpson and Peugeot 405-mounted Bill Tunziemann were due
to test at Pukekohe today.